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Play Listings for the Week of July 28th, 2014

July 28th, 2014

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The week started off a little rainy, didn’t it? Brighten it up with some theatre! Here’s a list of the shows playing in Toronto during the week of July 28th, 2014. All shows marked with two asterisks and coloured red are highly recommended by our Editor, Samantha.

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Review: A Ticket on the 4 (Peacock Productions)

July 26th, 2014

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A Ticket on the 4 is a series of vignettes inspired by Charles Bukowski playing at Toronto’s Aluna Theatre

The big selling point of Peacock Productions’ A Ticket on the 4 is its inspiration, namely that of Charles Bukowski. Drenched in alcoholism and that gritty desperation that was so representative of his writing, A Ticket on the 4 is enticing for theatre fans and American literature buffs alike, and director Jennifer Lindsay deserves a great deal of credit for facing the sometimes difficult subject matter head on, even if the play occasionally loses its footing in execution.

A Ticket on the 4 is a bare bones production, using the intimacy of the Aluna Theatre with efficiency — utilizing just a few chairs, a bar and a few extraneous props to establish the world of the racetrack that the most of the narrative takes place in.

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Review: Wolf Sounds (Peanut Butter People)

July 26th, 2014

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Wolf Sounds Cast Photo

Wolf Sounds, a play by Toronto’s Peanut Butter People, is an invitation to a sacred space; Check It Out!

Wolf Sounds, the play currently being produced by Peanut Butter People at The Box, is a complex, engaging, and ultimately incredibly rewarding exploration of human connection, sexual desire, and loneliness produced by a collective of talented young people with special needs.

The play explores these themes through a series of artistic impressions that suggest a story, rather than through story arcs. Each scene, vignette, and dance explores a particular aspect of one these themes or a particular experienced emotion, as the artists guide the audience from an experience of being disconnected to an experience of being hyper-connected.

In a typical performance art style, Wolf Sounds defies theatrical conventions and uses the stage they’ve been given in surprising and fascinating ways. What makes Wolf Sounds so astounding is that it also defies mainstream narratives for people with special needs and invites us to view the experiences of these characters that are rounded, vulnerable, and real. Read the rest of this entry »

Review: The Confidential Musical Theatre Project

July 25th, 2014

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All is revealed at Toronto’s Confidential Musical Theatre Project

It’s a hell of a thing to keep a secret from theatrefolk. Social butterflies with robust and devious imaginations, they’ll puzzle anything out. It should say a great deal that, walking into the Berkeley Street Theatre Upstairs, I had no clue what to expect from the Confidential Musical Theatre Project: they’d kept this secret very well.

I knew the show would be a musical, with a cast who had learned their parts in isolation, but had never rehearsed as a group. Beyond that, it was anyone’s guess.

So when I entered the theatre, I was excited to see parasols — parasols which could only come from one very, very famous painting, and from one of Sondheim’s more obscure (and most celebrated) musicals: Sunday in the Park with George.

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Review: Hotel Tryst: Rendez-vous (Toronto Burlesque Festival)

July 25th, 2014

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The Toronto Burlesque Festival dazzles audiences with new performances this weekend at The Mod Club

Last night was my first time watching the annual Toronto Burlesque Festival. After watching their opening show Hotel Tryst: Rendez-vous, I am disappointed that I missed the event for the past six years. This festival will be marked in my calendar from now on in bright red ink and surrounded in a border of glitter.

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Review: Sonny Under the Assumption (Old Norman Productions/Native Earth Performance Arts)

July 25th, 2014

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Sonny Under The Assumption is Toronto Theatre with Vision and Purpose

Exactly how do people create social change and why do we consider some more deserving than others? These are the questions that hang over Edward Allan Baker’s Sonny Under the Assumption. Over two acts, we follow the main character Sonny Montecalvo (Nicole Cardoni) as she tries desperately to drum up last-minute funding to save her community centre—a place that is running thanks only to Sonny, her boyfriend Rennie (Sean Shannon), and a ragtag group of ex-convicts. Slowly, the characters pick away at the biases inherent in social assistance programs through scathing outbursts and personal monologues. Sonny Under the Assumption is a smart story that is willing to engage with strong moral questions without offering easy answers. Read the rest of this entry »

Review: Savage in Limbo (Triple ByPass Productions)

July 25th, 2014

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Triple ByPass Productions makes their debut with Savage in Limbo at Toronto’s Storefront Theatre

Triple ByPass Productions is a new theatre company in Toronto and Savage in Limbo is their first production. I’m sure they’ve all worked very hard pulling it together. Unfortunately I just didn’t connect with it. I’m not sure why they chose this play as their inaugural production.

John Patrick Shaney wrote Savage in Limbo in 1984. It takes place in a very basic bar in the Bronx. Five people – all of them 32 – talk about their lives. It’s not a plot driven play, it’s about the characters. In fact it’s all about the dialogue; there is some resolution but there isn’t really a lot of action.

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Review: The Tempest (Driftwood Theatre Group)

July 24th, 2014

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The Tempest

Driftwood Theatre’s Tempest Will Transport You To Shakespeare’s Fantasy World

If you are (like me) a fan of outdoor summer theatre, then make your way to Withrow Park this week to catch Driftwood Theatre‘s production of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. There’s something great about watching a show outside as the sky gets darker and the air gets cooler. There’s something even more special about it when the show you’re watching takes place on an island, and the outdoor setting makes you feel as if you really have been transported to that setting.

The Tempest tells the story of Prospero (Richard Alan Campbell) and his daughter Miranda (Miriam Fernandes) who have been stranded on a deserted island. Twelve years after their arrival, several of Prospero’s enemies end up on the island, by some combination of fate and magic. I won’t give away the entire plot, but let’s just say that lots of fun Shakespearean things occur, including plotting, spells, plans to kill Kings, a little bit of romance and a little bit of drunkenness.

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Cheap Theatre for the Week of July 22nd, 2014

July 22nd, 2014

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Did you miss your chance to see the most popular shows playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival this year? Not to fear, because, this year’s Best of Fringe is here. Several shows that did extremely well at this year’s Fringe are playing at the Toronto Centre for the Arts (5040 Yonge Street) until July 30th. All tickets are $21.75 in total – so here’s your chance to see the shows you’ve missed (or want to see again) for cheap!

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Play Listings for the Week of July 21st, 2014

July 21st, 2014

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Want to go see some theatre? But not sure what’s on? Here’s a list of the shows playing in Toronto during the week of July 21st, 2014. All shows marked with two asterisks and coloured red are highly recommended by our Editor, Mike.

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